While I’m partial to Hybrid, their flaw now is what it always was: There's no one or two really amazing tracks on their albums. Sure, this time there are standouts - ‘Falling Down’, ‘Last Man Standing’ and ‘Just For Today’ are wonderfully pleasureable, the kind of tracks you listen to twice while skipping through – but there's nothing here to really blows your head off. Buy a whole Corsten album and you'll probably ditch 80% of the tracks, and the same goes for the recent electro-trance effort from Gabriel & Dresden, but on both there are tremendous tracks that you’ll remember, tracks that in the year 2020 you'll request in a club (making everyone look at you like you're some sort of ancient Egyptian artifact.) There's simply nothing on here of that caliber.
Not to say ‘I Choose Noise’ isn't great. Every track is very well produced: You don't so much listen to this music as you do float through it, feeling the layers of blended sound and noise mentally with your eyes and hands. The effect really is very encompassing, and Hybrid has mastered the art of emotional control – the movement in the mood of the album would make it a wonderful soundtrack. Which makes me wonder: Is someone in Hybrid actually Clint Mansell?
But I’m partial to them, which I took into account in my rating (I was tempted to give it a nine). The male vocals, although well placed, are a bit much on some tracks, but they’re only half the album, and there's more than enough overall depth to compensate. If you can get past the vocals, and you're not looking for a single blockbuster track that you can blast while streaking down the autobahn at 250mph in your supercar, then you'll find that Hybrid's latest creation a marvelous aural experience that's certainly worth the investment.
Sun / 5 Nov 2006